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Uneasy thoughts on our bookless future

Mark Bauerlein in Claremont Review of Books, in a perceptive review essay on Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, with additional consideration of Leah Price’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading:

It won’t be long before all living memory of a time before the personal computer is gone. People will no longer address the meaning of screens from the remembered background of a computer-free life. Leah Price and Maryanne Wolf grew up with books; they had a print childhood, not a digital one. Price aims to soften the impact of the Digital Revolution, I suspect, because of a liberal impulse to accept cultural change with an urbane smile. That’s the going etiquette. I have witnessed many times my humanities colleagues receive news of popular culture drifting ever farther from their intellectual interests with a shrug. It is unseemly to them to criticize people for their cultural choices. But with every survey showing meager reading time and massive screen time in the leisure hours of the young, it is increasingly difficult not to share Wolf’s dismay.

More: “Our Bookless Future